Things are going to look very different for the Wylie East boys soccer team this winter. Coming off an 11-12-1 campaign in which the Raiders went 6-10 in the district, the winds of change swept through town last spring.
Enter Coach Trey Vaut, a decorated player in his time at Oral Roberts before making his way through the coaching ranks. A former assistant at Wylie, Vaut spent the last five years running the Garland Owls’ program.
He will now look to lead the Raiders back to prominence in a district that has been traditionally tough since Wylie and Wylie East moved in. He came into the job with a good knowledge of Wylie East’s program and will now look to get the boys back in the postseason.
“Super excited about being at Wylie East,” Coach Vaut said. “I know last year they battled with some tough injuries to key players. We lost a pretty good senior class, but I’ve got a group of seniors (this year) that are really hungry. They are excited and ready to go to work.”
After finishing seventh in District 9-6A, which saw both Sachse and Naaman Forest making deep playoff runs, Coach Vaut will look to put his twist on the program in hopes of uplifting them to a similar status.
“We have a really talented group across the board,” he said. “For me, it’s about building my culture and teaching my philosophy. So far, the guys have been pretty receptive. They are eager to learn.”
Fortunately, he does have a group with plenty of experience returning as Wylie East brings back 13 seniors. With that in mind, Coach Vaut has confidence in the team’s ability to compete. Still, he also knows it’s going to take some time to mesh his system with the Raiders’ talent.
“Putting the kids in a position to be successful is my goal,” Coach Vaut said. “There is a good variety of technical players, along with some speedy and physical players. Only time will tell how it all comes together but everyone is excited.”
“We have a pretty good mix of pre-district opponents,” he added. “That will allow me to do some different things with lineups that will help me understand how we compete the best.”
One of the early impressions Coach Vaut got about his team is that they have a lot of versatility that will allow him to change up some of his formations and lineups during the non-district portion of the season.
Midfielder Devin Chandler and defenseman Jacob Ribeiro lead the group that will look to bounce back after missing the postseason during their junior campaign. Two seniors Coach Vaut expects to take a big step forward are defenseman Bryce Staffeld and forward Chase Erwin.
He also sees a pair of sophomores that can help this team on the offensive end in forward Matthew Deffo and midfielder Dylan Falay. The trio of Jake Beattie, Michael Delaney and Nick Nobleza have also made the situation in goal very interesting for Coach Vaut. All three have played extremely well since Coach Vaut arrived.
“With preseason scrimmages, we are trying a lot of different things,” Coach Vaut said. “We are trying to see who meshes the best. That takes time, especially with me coming in and still getting to know the kids. These games may bring different sides out to some of these guys than we’ve seen in practice. I’m excited to get things started.”
The Raiders will open their season with Denton Braswell in town on Thursday, Jan. 4. The two squads will kick off at 2 p.m. for Wylie East’s only action of the week.
By Austin Smith • [email protected]
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